Job: Postdoctoral Associate - 43042, Duke Human Vaccine Institute, DURHAM, NC
The Duke Human Vaccine Institute (DHVI) performs basic and translational research to combat major infectious diseases. DHVI is seeking Postdoctoral Associates to join the fight against the SARS-CoV-2 virus and the resulting disease COVID19. The Duke Human Vaccine Institute is an interdisciplinary, interdepartmental institute dedicated to the study of host-pathogen interactions that can be translated into biologics and vaccines. DHVI is composed of a team of highly interactive Duke faculty and senior scientists that have expertise in mucosal and systemic immunology, virology, molecular and structural biology, computational biology, and animal models. With these expertise, the DHVI is working with local, national and international partners to develop countermeasures and vaccines against SARS-CoV-2 infection.
We are recruiting highly-motivated individuals to join our team dedicated to the design of a protective SARS-CoV-2 vaccine. The Postdoctoral Associate will work independently to isolate and characterize SARS-CoV-2 antibodies from infected humans, vaccinated mice, and immunized nonhuman primates to discern the critical epitopes on SARS-CoV-2 spike protein that confer virus neutralization. The Postdoctoal Associate will use these antibodies and others as a template to design immunogens that elicit antibodies against the same neutralizing epitope. Immunogens with the desired binding activity to neutralizing antibodies will be tested in precelinical vaccine trials in mouse, humanized mouse, and nonhuman primate models. The Postdoctoral Associate will work independently to perform immunoassays characterizing and comparing the immune response elicited by each vaccine candidate. These assays will include, but are not limited to: ELISA, luminex, phagocytosis, immune cell phenotyping, cell killing bioassays, and complement fixation assays. Under the guidance of the Principal investigator, the candidate will be responsible for designing and executing experiments, interpreting the data, presenting the results at internal and external meetings, and drafting scientific publications. These studies will have a large impact on vaccines that are translated to first-in-humans clinical trials.
More specifically, the Postdoctoral Associate will perform the following activities:
• Design of SARS-CoV-2 Spike protein for use in immunoassays.
• Design of multimeric SARS-CoV-2 immunogens for use in vaccine studies.
• Liter-scale transfections for recombinant antibody and viral protein production.
• Protein purification using AKTA FPLC instruments
• Antigenic characterization of SARS-CoV-2 viral protein by flow cytometry, ELISA, biolayer interferometry, and surface plasmon resonance.
• Fluorescence-activated cell sorting of single B cells from vaccinated animals.
• RT-PCR amplification of antibody genes from single B cells.
• Illumina MiSeq next generation sequencing of antibody genes.
• Antibody immunogenetic analysis.
• Antibody immunoassays such as luminex, ELISA, and Western Blots.
• Monoclonal and polyclonal antibody biooassays such as complement-dependent and antibody-dependent cell killing assays.
• Present scientific results at meetings and publish results in peer-reviewed journals.
• Training in bioethics, laboratory management, and scientific writing.
• Maintain accurate laboratory documentation of experiments, including raw experimental data and laboratory notebooks.
The position requires a doctoral degree in biological sciences, chemistry, or a related discipline and a strong record of publications in peer-reviewed journals. Ideal candidates will possess excellent oral and written communication skills with the ability to work in a highly collaborative team environment.